GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Catholic Central scored long touchdowns on its first two offensive plays and never looked back, beating Belding 42-3 to win a regional title on a frigid Friday night.
Right from the start, Cougar running back Nolan Fugate was the star of the night. He took off for an 82-yard score on Catholic Central’s first play. Before the night was over, he racked up 293 yards and four touchdowns.
Quarterback Jack Bowen then hit Nate Trudeau for a 69-yard touchdown on Catholic Central’s second play, giving the Cougars a 14-0 lead.
After just two plays, Catholic Central had 151 yards of offense. Belding would end the night with a total of 156 yards.
It was the second straight week Catholic Central jumped out to a big lead. Last week, the Cougars gave up that lead by allowing Kelloggsville to score 28 straight points.
“We knew last week that we didn’t have the focus that we should have,” Fugate said. “Tonight, we got rolling and stayed focused.”
The temperature at kickoff was around 20 degrees.
“We knew it was going to be a cold night,” Fugate said. “We had been preparing for it all week.”
Catholic Central advances to play Escanaba in the Division 4 state semifinal game. Catholic Central beat Escanaba 34-0 in the playoffs a year ago on its way to a state title.
Belding finishes the season 9-3. It’s the most wins for the program since 1998 and comes just two years removed from winning only one game in 2015.